This commentary on Paul s highly autobiographical letter to the Galations traces the history of the book s reception through the ages. * Explores the influence and history of this important New Testament book * Demonstrates the crucial role that Galatians has played in the development of very diverse forms of Christian spirituality * Considers the influence of Galatians on a wide range of theological figures, including Chrysostom, Augustine, and Luther * Examines the ways in which Galatians has influenced images of Paul, suggesting that it is the indeterminacy and complexity of his text that cause it to be interpreted in such widely differing ways * Focuses on verses, themes or arguments that have been the subject of particularly influential readings * Published in the innovative and stimulating Wiley-Blackwell Bible Commentaries reception history series, which focuses on the broad spectrum of interpretations rather than the traditional verse by verse analysis typically found in commentaries.
John Riches was until his retirement in 2003 Professor of Divinity and Biblical Criticism at Glasgow University. Among his books on the New Testament are Jesus and the Transformation of Judaism (1980), A Century of New Testament Study (1993) and Conflicting Mythologies (2000).
Series Editors' Preface ix Preface xi List of Abbreviations xv Introduction: Aims and Method, Summary of Findings, Galatians as a 'World- Building' Text 1 Galatians 1:1-9: The Beginning of Paul's Argument 66 Galatians 1:10-24: Paul Argues for His Independence as an Apostle (I); The 'Conversion' of Paul the Jew 83 Galatians 2:1-10: Paul Argues for His Independence as an Apostle (II); The Conference at Jerusalem 96 Galatians 2:11-21: Justifi cation by Faith: The New Life in Christ 105 Galatians 3:1-14: Life in the Spirit Contrasted with Living under the Curse of the Law 144 Galatians 3:15-29: The Purpose of the Law and the New Life of Sonship of God 188 Galatians 4:1-20: Paul Contrasts the Galatians' Present State as Christians with Their Former Lives 214 Galatians 4:21-31: A Concluding Allegory 227 Galatians 5: The New Life of Faith 245 Galatians 6: New Creation: Life Beyond the Law 284 Glossary 302 Works Cited 309 Illustrations 319 Index 320